Ben West: Artist

A painting by Ben West entitled "Caught Ya' Caddis"
Ben West at a recent showing of his art
Ben West at a recent showing of his art

AK LEOPARD TROUT-WEB

Many people fish. A select few are able to commit their lives to the art of fishing. Even fewer are fortunate, and skilled enough, to commit their lives to the art of fishing art.

Bloomington’s Ben West is one such talented individual.

Growing up in Crozet, Virginia, West had the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop for his childhood fishing outings with his dad.  His mother was also a talented painter in her own right.

While a teen, West discovered his passion for fishing with the inspiration of a school shop teacher. “Mr. Scott always had all these fishing magazines scattered around his classroom. He’d let us read them when our work was done,” he remembers fondly of his former teacher.

As Ben’s skill with a fishing rod grew, so did his talent with a paintbrush.  While earning a degree in Fine Arts from Warren Wilson College, he discovered fly fishing and never looked back.  After moving to Bloomington, Indiana, he discovered the intricate beauty of the brown trout and everything fell into place.

"Wyoming Brown"
“Wyoming Brown”

ben3“It’s a really personal thing for me. I prefer to catch, hold and photograph each fish I paint”, West says. “It really connects me to the painting… and I particularly enjoy painting browns.”

These days Ben splits his time between fishing near his Bloomington home and guiding in Alaska.

His work can be seen on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/oex9atx

Don Cranfill
A native Hoosier, and son of a tournament fisherman, Don literally grew up on the water. Early in life he developed a passion for two things, paddling and fly fishing. Don can often be found stalking the limestone creeks of southern Indiana for Smallmouth Bass, while the off seasons are spent crafting custom hardwood canoe and kayak paddles, making figured-wood fly tying bases and developing the ultimate fly. Contact: HoosierFlyDaddy@gmail.com or at SmallWaterAngler.net

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